Car Suspension Maintenance Promises a Smoother Ride
We’ve mentioned the importance of tires before; they’re your car’s only real contact with the road. But it’s your suspension that’s taking a lot of the beating with them. Whereas you can easily replace a tire, car suspension is a full system that requires careful analysis if anything should go awry. Most of us have a bond with our cars allowing us to literally feel if something’s going off with the suspension in many circumstances. But suspecting a problem is just the beginning so here a few signs that you may need to have your car suspension evaluated by a professional.
The most common sign that your suspension needs some TLC is a noticeably rougher ride. Maybe you’ll feel like the roads seem bumpier in general or possibly you’ll feel more of a tipping or pulling sensation when taking turns. This is a likely indicator that your shock absorbers need attention. In many cases, you’ll observe that your car’s nose is dipping much more severely when you hit the brakes, even if you’re not coming to a jarring stop. Perhaps you’ll find yourself struggling with the steering a bit more while braking and it may even take you longer to come to a full stop. While these could simply be brake issues, it’s a wise decision to have your struts and shocks checked out to make sure they’re on the up and up.
Follow Your Nose (or At Least Your Car’s Nose)
Another sign of worn out struts is apparent when you’re accelerating out from a dead stop and the front of your car noticeably lurches upward. Your struts should be strong enough to hold the front end of the car down so if you notice the nose pointing upward even slightly when you progress out of a complete stop, check into the condition of your struts.
The Importance of Springs in Your Car Suspension System
If your tires are properly inflated and your car is on level ground but still leaning to one side slightly, you may be experiencing a degree of spring failure. Springs are an important aspect of the car suspension system in that they carry the vehicle’s weight. You can imagine the kind of workout springs get from the roads in LA. If you’re hearing odd noises when rolling over speed bumps or having some trouble on your turns, you’re likely dealing with spring damage.
Inspecting the Ball Joints
Speaking of turns, if you’re hearing a screeching sound while turning, you may need to have the ball joints that connect your car suspension to your wheels inspected. Ball joints work in synchronicity with your steering to absorb some of the impact of the road. If you’re having issues with your ball joints, a mechanic can typically do a quick visual inspection to assess the damage.
Self-diagnosing car suspension problems can be tricky since the symptoms of common suspension issues so often mirror the symptoms associated to other areas of car trouble. For this reason, suspicions of problems with the suspension are often best left to professionals. Your suspension takes a lot of the abuse from the open road so taking care of it should be a top priority. A smoother ride will be your immediate reward.